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Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat

The Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath having nearly four decades of purposeful existence has become the cultural landmark of Karnataka, its usefulness assuming archival proportions. After its establishment in 1960, it straightaway started conducting art exhibitions at both the state and national levels, besides ORGANISING conferences and workshops. An art school, named Chitrakala Vidyalaya, was added to its bludgeoning activities in the year 1964.

Mr. K.S. Appajaiah the current principal of the college who is also a wonderful artist (painting) and a backstage personality has played a considerable role behind the success of Chitrakala Parishat and College of Fine Arts.

Survey of Treasures

The year 1966 saw the Parishath grow in stature with both the Central and State lalitkala Academies according recognition to it. This naturally attracted the attention of artists and art-lovers. At about the same time, the Parishath undertook a survey of the State's art treasures like the historic Mysore traditional paintings and leather puppets of similar antiquity. The survey, a first of its kind, yielded rewarding and far reaching results, the collections accrued from it forming invaluable source material for study and research.

Structural Edifice
With the grant of spacious land from the State Government and liberal financial help from individuals, its dream of having a building of its own was fulfilled. With that, the activities also increased manifold, each winning the approbation of dignitaries not only in the country, but also from abroad. The Governments at the State and the Centre, as also international organisations like the UNESCO kept up their uninterrupted liaison with the Parishath and its work, often extending their patronage in more than one way.

As the Parishath started attracting more participation of artists, it set up a fully equipped graphic workshop and a sculpture studio. They are working in full swing, meeting the needs of artists.

Founded in 1975, it has four nominees of the government besides a few well-known public figures. Mr. S.M. Krishna, a founder trustee, is

its current President. It is fortunate that Mr. Ramakrishna Hegde and Dr. Jeevaraj Alva, the current President of the Parishath, kindly agreed to be its trustees.

Exclusive Galleries
The Parishath's galleries are attracting exhibitions of not only well-known artists of India, but also from abroad. Many foreign countries have also displayed exhibitions pertaining to their heritage in these halls. Quite a few handicraft organisations of Indian States have also found it beneficial to organise their displays in the Parishath from time to time.

Permanent Displays
The Parishath's permanent collection is steadily growing. Dr. S. Roerich, one of its closest associates, donated a sizeable number of his father's and his own paintings to it. Two exclusive gallery floors have been erected in his memory, where these invaluable works are on a permanent display.

Similar is the munificence of Mr. H.K. Kejriwal. He has not only donated his rare collection of art and artifacts, but has donated handsomely to raise a separate gallery for their display. To promote the talents of young artists a H.K. Kejriwal Award for 6 young artists, is instituted from the year 1998.

Internationally recognised graphic artist, Dr. Krishna Reddy has kindly gifted his valuable graphic prints exhibition to the Parishath. Some popular paintings of Mr. S.S. Kukke are the other additions to this list. The Mysore traditional style of painting, which was almost extinct was revived by the Parishath under the guidance of Master Artist Y.Subramanaya Raju. It has reached new dimensions today.

Art Education
The memory of Dr. Svetoslav Roerich has been perpetuated solidly by setting up a Roerich Institute of Fine Arts imparting foundation courses to students. The Chitrakala Vidyalaya established in 1964 was duly upgraded as a College of Fine Arts, affiliated to Bangalore University. It is a landmark in the field of higher education in fine arts. The students graduate themselves in one of the specialisation like Painting, Sculpture, Applied Art, Graphic Art or Art History. The college with a student strength of 350 and 25 teachers is an ideal centre of creative pursuits.

More recently, the post-graduate, course was bifurcated from College of Fine Arts by the Bangalore University. Now known as Chitrakala Institute of Advanced Studies (CIAS), it has 50 post-graduate students and seven registered for Doctoral studies, guided and trained by well qualified faculty members.

Research Wing
The Parishath has initiated and probed into the various areas of research in the field of visual arts. South India is like an open air museum and the Parishath is conducting fundamental research in exploring the enormous material laid therein.


Bangalore has been a landmark for contemporary art in South India. The city has Chitrakala Parishath which attracts many international and national shows. The important institution set up by the Parishath, College of Fine Arts has produced some of the established and upcoming artists in the country. The college has been at par with other institutions in the country like Baroda and Shantiniketan. The quality of art education has set a standard in Art Education in the country.

Says Sri. S.M. Krishna, the Chief Minister of Karnataka and President of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Trust.  "Karnataka Chitrkala Parishath has grown into an art institution and a cultural space with exhibition galleries and a permanent collection of ancient and contemporary art.

The Art Complex has become a landmark in our country's history of Art.

...Our efforts to establish and activate this space since 3 decades with artist camps, workshops and international exhibitions has also culminated in this celebration. Our galleries have been venues for many important shows in South India and will continue to open up new spaces for wider interaction." The ever dynamic General Secretary, Prof. M.S.Nanjunda Rao, has been the driving force behind the Parishath and the College of Fine Arts. The staff comprises
of Senior Artists like the Principal K. S. Vishwambara, Dr. Choodamani Nandagopal and other experienced teachers from reputed art institutions like Baroda and Shantiniketan.

The college offers a Bachelor's degree called Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A). The qualification is S.S.L.C and an aptitude towards Visual Arts. The selection of candidates is by a practical examination and personal interviews. The Roerich College of Art is an integral part of the Parishath offering the B.F.A courses.

The college also offers Masters in Fine Arts (M.F.A). An extension called Chitrakala Institute of Advanced Studies (CIAS) has been established to cater to the ever increasing demand for Master degree courses.

B.F.A - 5 year Course

2 years of Foundation and 3 years of specialisation

Specialisation offered


Applied Art

Commercial Artists - Advertising / Design


Professional Artist / Designer


Professional Artist / Designer


Professional Artist / Designer

Art History

Art Historian, Art Critic, Lecturer, Archeology, Museology, Research etc.

M.F.A - 2 year Course (offering same specialisations)
These technical courses provide a broad spectrum of choices according to the aptitude of the students and are not watertight courses. The students can choose from the ever increasing demand in Advertising Agencies, Textile Designing, Interior Decoration, Product Design, Exhibition Design, Art Consultants or work as professional fine artists -painters, sculptors and print-makers towards individual exhibitions at commercial galleries.

Many scholarships have been instituted by the Parishath to enable needy artists and merit students to continue their education. Many private and public trusts provide grants for Art Education and further studies in India and abroad.

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